Bok saves man's life after Test

2010-06-13 22:35

Stephen Nell and JJ Harmse

Pretoria – Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis saved a man’s life at Newlands on Saturday night shortly after helping his side to their biggest Test win yet over France on South African soil.

Du Plessis had to push a finger “right into the man’s vocal chords” to remove a piece of meat he had choked on. The man could not breathe and was already blue around the lips when Du Plessis intervened.

“With mercy from above the man could breathe again,” said Du Plessis, who is a qualified doctor.

“We walked out of the post-match function because we were told to head for the bus. I was looking for the bathroom when I saw a concerned lady asking her husband if everything was alright. When I was about two steps past them, she started shouting ‘My husband is choking, my husband is choking!’ She was panicking.

“I could see the man could not utter a word or breathe. I used the Heimlich Manoeuvre.

“I could see the guy was in trouble. He was getting blue around the lips and was completely pale. I then told him it’s worse than I thought and I will have to scratch the piece of meat out.

“I told him to open his mouth and stuck in a finger until about his vocal chords. A piece of meat was stuck at around his adam’s apple. I got my finger at the back of it and swept it out.”

Du Plessis was very relieved when the man, whose identity is unknown, could breathe comfortably again.

“I’m not a pastor, but all thanks to God. The man just about burst into tears,” said Du Plessis.

Du Plessis was emotional himself and said the incident placed rugby in perspective.

“It could have been ugly had things gone wrong. It makes you think a little deeper than just another rugby victory,” he said.

“When we were on our way back to the hotel on the team bus, I thought to myself that I would spend a few more minutes on my knees because life can be over in the blink of an eye.

“That guy just ate a piece of meat off a stick after watching the Test – everything was wonderful and then he choked.

“I got a huge fright, but I am just grateful he’s alive.”


  • Des - 2010-06-13 22:47

    Good job, Jannie. Proud of you!

  • Reinhardt - 2010-06-13 22:52

    Wow, what a great save Jannie :D

  • GoJannie! - 2010-06-13 22:55

    Wow, devine intervention that. Amazing that at that very time it was Du Plessis who walked by, a doctor who knew what to do.

  • Matsemele - 2010-06-13 22:58

    You are the great one Jannie, this country need more people of ur character. You will be blessed eternally.

  • pops - 2010-06-13 23:00

    May God Almighty bless you Jannie and strengthen your faith.

  • tHANKS - 2010-06-13 23:01

    God placed Jannie at the right place at the right time. All glory to God and thank you to Jannie

  • pops - 2010-06-13 23:01

    May God Almighty bless you Jannie and strengthen your faith.

  • Leon Ross - 2010-06-13 23:03

    Wel gedaan Jannie. Daar is wel lewe na rugby asook groter dinge as rugby. Alles gebeur met 'n rede en ek voel op daardie stadium moes jy verby daardie man stap. Ek is seker daardie man en sy hele familie is jou ewig dankbaar.

  • Coach - 2010-06-13 23:21

    Im surprised the man didnt sustain any injuries after receiving the Heimlich Manoeuvre from Jannie lol Well played Jannie!! Our boys are heros in every sense of the word!!

  • Perfume to Jannie du Plessis - 2010-06-13 23:25

    God ways are truly not our own...I am reminded of a Scripture in the Bible @Jannie and I am sure you know it "the footsteps of a righteous man are ordered by God", it was God that directed you towards the bathroom..bless God the man is alive

  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-06-13 23:29

    jeez....not many international props can do that, and not the first time either!! well played doc. Jannie keep it up bud!

  • Steve - 2010-06-14 01:22

    Good on you, Jannie. I'm an Emergency Physician and this sort of thing make me weak at the knees... always a good idea to say a prayer at the time!

  • sceptic - 2010-06-14 03:27

    duh people, if God "placed" Jannie at the right place at the right time, why did he make the guy choke in the first place? Kudos to Jannie but dont always bring "God" into everything, the guy choked, Jannie saved him, that it, plain and simple.

  • Arthur - 2010-06-14 04:23

    Jannie...some guys are good guys...some guys are bad are a GOOD guy....sssssccchhhhwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeetttt!!!!!!!

  • Justin Russell - 2010-06-14 04:43

    Delora se seun hier!!! Ek is speechless!!!! God is awesome en jy was gekies om n instrument te wees!

  • brinjal - 2010-06-14 04:59

    I didn't know God was in the business of choking people,so that he can get the credit when a doctor prevents it! Get real people!

  • Frans - 2010-06-14 05:16

    Laat jou dink hoekom moes jy daar wees op daai spesifieke oomblik. Jannie SA love you.

  • McBrolloks - 2010-06-14 05:21

    Magtig mense, julle god het niks met die hele storie uit te waai nie. Die arme Afrikaners. 'n Klomp groot mense wat nog steeds so in spoke glo. As god wou gehad het die man se lewe moes gered work, hoekom het hy hom in die eerste plek laat verstik? Dis absurd om alles wat gebeur aan 'n onsigbare spook toe te skryf.

  • Stevep - 2010-06-14 05:32

    Saving a man's life is far greater than winning any game. Devine intervention, I agree.

  • Elzebe - 2010-06-14 05:43

    Moet nooit jou geloof in God verloor nie Jannie. Ons is trots op jou!

  • Nico - 2010-06-14 06:08

    Your faith and training as a doctor helped you to rescue a person in distress to survive. The whole country can be proud of your action. May God be with you in your future endeavors.

  • Prof - 2010-06-14 06:37

    Jy is 'n man Jannie!

  • Iain - 2010-06-14 07:11

    That's why I always carry my surg cric kit when I'm out.

  • Simon - 2010-06-14 07:25

    2 great victories in one day - and 2 great charactaristics from a Champion.....skill and humility, on AND off the field! God is good! Well done Jannie.

  • Gustav - 2010-06-14 07:27


  • jan du toit - 2010-06-14 07:29

    Dankie vir jou getuienis en dat jy God die eer gee wat hom toekom.Dit is lekker ne' as n mens die heilige gees waarneem en die finger van God mens aanraak. Deur geloof en die krag van God is alles moondlik.Vrede Toit

  • nice one - 2010-06-14 07:35

    god is great and so was jannie

  • scipio - 2010-06-14 07:35

    omg that's a bit stupid. alot of doctors lost fingers doing that. But then again he didn't have the right equipment. STupidity or bravery?? both if u ask me. good on you jannie!!!

  • Cobusm - 2010-06-14 07:40

    Alle eer aan GOD, dankie vir manne soos Jannie!

  • Hattie - 2010-06-14 07:40

    Mens kry daai lekker warm gevoel hier in die bors. Lekker om dte weet dat ons eie "Bokke" so na aan ons Vader lewe. Proudly South African!!!

  • sasa - 2010-06-14 07:49

    welllllllllllllll done boys, you made us proud :)

  • sasa - 2010-06-14 07:50

    welllllllllllllll done boys, you made us proud :)

  • Andre Bloom - 2010-06-14 07:54

    You are a true role model to all of us Jannie. God bless you Sir.

  • Bok supporter & cynic - 2010-06-14 07:56

    Great job Jannie, that's awesome - but not sure god comes into it as much as your 7 years of training as a doctor...

  • Doc - 2010-06-14 07:56

    Study for 7 years and God helped him save a choking man--get real folks. That man was just lucky a Dr needed the toilet---SIMPLE as that. As many have said. Why praise the Lord that you have won a rugby test--was God not wearing the right rugga jumper on that specific day????--LOL-get real folks and see the bigger picture.

  • Adrian - 2010-06-14 07:57

    The world is a better place for having people like you Jannie. Well done on two great victories in one day. You and your brother are an inspiration to all of us Sharks and Boks supporters. Cheers

  • ockert - 2010-06-14 07:58

    @sceptic , @brinjal and @bollocks - maybe this was a test for Jannies Faith ? - and he passed it by giving GOD the honour. Maybe you guys need to go on your knees more often and pray to the LORD.

  • Lin - 2010-06-14 07:59

    To those few people who spoke about God making the man choke just so Jannie could save him??? God did NOT make the man choke but He did make sure Jannie was there to help him out. Well done Jannie, we need more people who care about others.

  • Jac - 2010-06-14 07:59

    @ Sceptic & McBrollocks. God is daar en dit is sy werk. Jy kan klein gelowig wees of glad nie glo nie, maar dit maak nie saak nie. Die res van die mense wat hier gecomment het glo darem. Ek hoop dat julle eendag sal van paadjie verander nadat julle die goedheid van God gevoel het.

  • morena - 2010-06-14 08:00

    well done Mr Jannie, now who says sports and education (Dr) don't mix

  • Dr Steve Brule - 2010-06-14 08:01

    I think this "God" character is just bored, first he puts the meat in the mans throat and then he puts Jannie there to save him, pointless really isn't it.

  • Jay - 2010-06-14 08:01

    Awesome work Jannie, you are a true hero!

  • RAMA @ sceptic - 2010-06-14 08:02

    @sceptic, You are a special child. JANNIE WHO SAVED THE GUYS LIFE PRAISED GOD FOR GIVING HIM THE ABILITY TO PERFORM SUCH ACT AND FOR SAVING THE GUYS LIFE. SO he gave the credit to the almighty and the rest of the readers seconds that and appreciates that now you come and try to create nonsense again....pateties jy dalk kort jy bietjie hup deur dok Jannie om by tekom in die lewe boet.

  • Doep - 2010-06-14 08:05

    Thank God it is not only the Afikaner that believes in God. Mc Brollocks or whatever you call yourself we will pray for you and hopefully God will place a Jannie du Plessis on your path also one day when you really need it. Which I think is right now!

  • Jan @McBrollocks - 2010-06-14 08:05

    As jy nie in my en ons "Afrikaners" se God glo nie, moet jy nie eers kommentaar lewer nie. Ek hoop regtig jy word "gered", want ek sal die hel aan niemand toewens nie. Baie dankie Jannie!

  • Dee - 2010-06-14 08:10

    @mcbrollocks, brinjal, sceptic Hey guys, if you truly knew what you were saying, you wouldn't mock God like you've done - I am shivering in my boots for you 3 - However, He is a loving God and even loves you - your days are numbered, you do realise that you're a wonderful target for the Holy Spirit to zap you and get you saved!!! Jannie, may God Bless you and your family- how amazing to be used by our Father!

  • james - 2010-06-14 08:12

    Nice one Jannie. Has nothing to do with GOD. pity we have so many dumb, God squad sheep in this land!!!!

  • Ruan - 2010-06-14 08:12

    What a guy! Mooi so Jannie!

  • Staffie - 2010-06-14 08:13

    Well done doc ! May God bless you. See there's always a reason. There was a reason you had to be there and to the patient - there IS a reason why you were spared. God bless.

  • Cyril Poonen - 2010-06-14 08:16

    Yes jannie you were the angel that God had sent to save this mans life .God Bless you in his bountifulls.